Most private schools to remain closed  

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…some applying mixture of online and face-to-face learning 

By Lisa Hamilton

Most of the private schools in Guyana will not be reopening on Monday to in-person learning. Several have opted to take a hybrid approach of online and face-to-face learning while some others are continuing the learning experience for students online.

Public schools in Guyana are set to reopen to face-to-face on September 6, 2021. However, for Secondary schools, children will attend based on whether they are fully COVID-19 vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, according to the Ministries of Education and Health.

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At the New Guyana School at Houston Gardens, Georgetown, schools will be reopened on September 20, 2021, and parents can choose whether they’d like their children to continue attending classes fully virtually or face-to-face on alternate days and times.

The school’s preschool learners will have face-to-face learning from Monday to Friday with K2 learners attending school every day from 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon and K3 learners divided into groups for face-to-face learning at different times. For nursery learners, first and second-year nursery will have face-to-face instruction from Monday to Thursday. Their class size will not exceed 11 students. On Fridays, they will attend class virtually.

For Primary pupils, all classes will be split into two groups with a maximum class size of 13 students. Group 1 will attend school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while Group 2 will attend school on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. For each group, on the days absent from school, virtual learning will be made available. The times they attend school varies from 4 hours on Fridays and 7 hours, 30 minutes on all other days. Every effort is being made to place siblings and immediate family members in the same groups. Secondary school students at the New Guyana School will resume full face-to-face instruction from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM from Monday to Friday beginning September 20.

VACCINATION REQUIREMENT OUTLINED FOR APEX EDUCATION

At Apex Education on the East Coast of Demerara, it was stated plainly that unvaccinated students will have to attend school on different days from those vaccinated and will also have to participate in Zoom Virtual Classes until they are fully vaccinated. According to the Administrative Director, Pratima Ali, all of the school’s teaching and auxiliary staff are fully vaccinated with copies of their vaccination card lodged at the school’s Office.  The school will reopen on September 6 with conditions for nursery, primary and secondary faculties. Each student received an email containing an ‘Opening Plan or Schedule’ which takes effect from September 6.

Meanwhile, students from Grades One to Grades Nine are required to follow and complete a Consolidated Curriculum.  In some cases, Examination classes will have to attend school on Saturdays because of the availability of space. The objective is to complete SBAs or to solve past NGSA Papers.

This institution said that it will continue to adhere to local and international health protocols. Students attending the physical face-to-face engagement will have to get their body temperature tested at the point of entry with a Non-Contact Infra-Red Thermometer. They are also expected to wear a face mask and follow other sanitation and social distancing protocols.

Upon attendance, students will undergo a psychological, social and emotional status or needs test with teachers to determine.

A HYBRID APPROACH

Meanwhile, Morgan’s Learning Center, according to the school’s Vice Principal, Winston Savory, face-to-face classes for Grades 8-11 will resume on September 13, 2021. This is aimed at facilitating the completion of syllabi preparing students for the upcoming National Grade Nine Assessment and CSEC.

Across at Marian Academy, the school has decided to continue classes online until further notice while School of the Nations will be offering both face-to-face and online classes.

On September 6, 41 of Guyana’s 348 public nursery schools will open their doors to full face-to-face engagement for learners. The other 307 will operate on a rotation system which will see Year One and Year Two learners attending school on different days during the week. They will all meet no less than 2 hours per day or four hours per week.

For public primary schools, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson said a total of 44 will reopen fully on September 6 while the other 413 will operate on a rotational basis. Grade Six pupils, however, will attend school daily. Meanwhile, seven public secondary schools will be opened for all grade levels while the remaining 126 will operate on rotation. It was noted that it is compulsory for students from Grades 9-13 to attend sessions to ensure coverage of the examination curriculum, cover all SBAs and all necessary practicums.



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